Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Not enough

Lots of comment about the new health plan Bush will be proposing in tonight's State of the Union.

Bloggers are posting to Paul Krugman's column in the New York Times (behind the paywall but available at Tennessee Guerrilla Women, among other places): Gold-Plated Indifference:
What's driving all this is the theory, popular in conservative circles but utterly at odds with the evidence, that the big problem with U.S. health care is that people have too much insurance — that there would be large cost savings if people were forced to pay more of their medical expenses out of pocket.
...What's really striking about Mr. Bush's remarks, however, is the tone. The stuff about providing "incentives" to buy insurance, the sneering description of good coverage as "gold plated," is right-wing think-tank jargon. In the past Mr. Bush's speechwriters might have found less offensive language; now, they're not even trying to hide his fundamental indifference to the plight of less-fortunate Americans.

Why Now? comments too: Perpetually Stupid.

Tax cuts for health insurance premiums? You have to be able to afford the premiums first. And the deductibles, and out-of-pocket limits.

I found out about this after taking retirement with what I thought would be an affordable insurance carry-over plan. Yeah, it was affordable. For the first 4 months. Then it went up. This year the already high deductible and out-of-pocket limits increased -- by HALF. Added to the premiums, if both of us were to require enough health care this year the total cost would be about 2/3 of our income. As it is, just routine checkups and testing have cut into our savings the last two years.

HBOs were supposed to cut health care costs by providing care before you needed it. Now the health insurance business has been turned around, and we can't afford care until we're too sick to do anything else. And anyone with a pre-existing condition can't change plans if they want to. From what I hear, people still in full-time jobs are finding the same increasing costs.

Stay healthy. The current administration isn't going to help you if you're not. And you won't be able to afford to find out, either.

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